Gerber (2004) established that the process of legalizing marijuana is more of a setback to upholding social ethics than a contributory factor to moral decay. Argumentatively, the use of drugs like marijuana is a self-proclamation, where it is not ethically sound to stop human beings from exposing their own bodies to harm. This is comparable to deaths caused by obesity, where there are low possibilities of control of eating habits. This implies that the use of drugs is a free will which should not culminate in dictation of choice over use (Gerber, 2004). Consequently, legalization of marijuana could reduce the costs of the healthcare system due to the reduced incidences of overdose. The major contributory ethical factor that lies behind the issue of legalization of marijuana is the racial setback as most of the drugs facing illegalization are the ones used by the minority races. This contravenes the purpose for decriminalization as there is a shift from the practical reason. This causes a non-ending debate on whether some drugs like marijuana should be legalized. The classical theories have different resolutions to problems caused by legalization of marijuana.
According to experts such as Morgan (2010), the ethical implications presented by legalization of marijuana are varied. For instance, legalization is a form of justification of problems caused by the drug. The act of legalization of marijuana spreads a permissive message to the young generation that the use of drugs is nationally acceptable. Consequently, this act is a breach of the federal laws as it separates the legislation roles within states with some implementing the act while the other states remain at conflict with the idea. This is a source of controversy over the most accepted legislative roles (Morgan, 2010). Moreover, legalization of the drug would lead to inability of employees to have a drug free working environment which influences the service delivery. For instance, driving under influence could lead to increased incidences of road massacre. However, there are chances of marijuana use on medical grounds, which requires prescription of the drug. This implies that the legalization of the drug would give lead to research on live compounds responsible for cure of some diseases.
This research paper depicts the ethical issues and ethical problems presented by legalization of marijuana and how the classical theory of utilitarianism could help solve the problem. Consequently, it contrasts this response with the perspective brought to issue by relativism.
As Earlywine (2005) discovered, the ethical implication of the use of marijuana depicts a clear cut rationale of a society with moral decay. Marijuana use is closely associated with irresponsible behavior. This implies that legalization of the drug is a move towards moral decay, an increased cost to the healthcare system due to effects and a recreational facility to some generations. On the contrary, although decriminalization of marijuana does not mean an end to its use, it reduces the incidences of wrong permissive messages to the young people over the dangers of the use as opposed to legalization which sends a wrong message that drugs are acceptable. Moreover, legalization of the drug would increase the number of users (Earlywine, 2005).
The use of marijuana is in itself a psychological challenge since it proves that one is weak-willed. This implies that it is a personal choice to use or abstain. The option of use of drugs is a setback to the moral stands of an individual since most of the users are aware of the consequences of abuse. Moreover, the choice of shunning soberness by inducing chemicals to the brain is a show of ignorance and subjectivism. Consequently, it is a sign of escapism to problems facing the user.
Bearing in mind that legalization of the drug has both a positive and a negative impact on the rates of crime, it is important to note that legalization of the drug reduces chances of illegal trafficking, which would help improve the economy through taxation. In addition, it would reduce incidences of those jailed in possession of small amounts of marijuana. Conversely, the act of legalization has a negative impact on the rates of crime as it increases irresponsible behavior. This is from the fact that the drug has natural products that affect the normal functioning of the brain cells. This has often led to mental illness which affects the sound judgment of a person.
The issue of legalization of marijuana has both positive and negative impacts on the ethical part of the living. This implies that the social good of legalization of marijuana is equal to the social good of its decriminalization. To determine the extent to which the equilibrium shifts, it is vital to perform hypothetical tests using teleological theories of ethical systems which create the barrier between the wrong and right side of anything.
The teleological theories are systems for determining what is right or good. Right is defined as anything that maximizes what is good for the people or what minimizes what is harmful to a broader population. This implies that anything that does not maximize what is good and minimize what is bad is wrong. The major line of barrier that categorically places the tow is the end. The resultant factor is of more importance than the means. The best example of the teleological theories is the utilitarianism which is an advocacy for the largest amount of good for a group with majority. This advocacy means that good is what is accepted as the final option. The final option is always the best. The determinants of the final option are the rules that allow for the most favorable outcome. However, critics of the utilitarianism argue that by fundamental right, the theory could give lead to untenable behavior as it inures people to evil with justification from baseless arguments that condone crime at the expense of justice (Samaha, 2010).
In terms of the legalization of marijuana, it is clear that the best bet is the opposing route which seeks to decriminalize the drug. By application, legalization of marijuana would result in more related diseases than cure despite its medication purposes. This is from the fact that legalization of the drug would encourage randomized use without doctor’s prescriptions. This could result in more mental health disorders as opposed to curative abilities of the drug. This implies that the intervention of utilitarianism theory depicts decriminalization of the drug as having the maximum good to the population, which justifies decriminalization.
Since the use of drugs causes addiction, it is a breach to the ethical teaching and a betrayal to code of conduct as it is an irresponsible behavior. Irresponsibility is the precondition of the welfare state. Utilitarianism is a source of solution to this problem of irresponsibility since it defines irresponsibility as a social conflict whose social bad supersedes the social good. This implies that legalization of marijuana is tantamount to justification of social irresponsibility.
On the other hand, the fact that decriminalization of marijuana takes ground depending on the racial structures where the minority users are discriminated against shows that there is denial of the fundamental rights of humanity. This social vice of racial discrimination carries more weight than the effects underlying the use of the drug. This implies that there are minority groups that have to adhere to the ban of sell and use of marijuana which is a discriminatory factor. On the grounds of utilitarianism, marijuana should be legalized since it is a unifying factor for all races. Consequently, its decriminalization should be uniform so that no majority groups get favors. This is in realization of the benefits and goals behind either legalization or decriminalization.
Argumentatively, most of the drug users have intentions of recreation. This implies that the most population that is involved in recreation through drug use is the sample for consideration. According to the classical theory of utilitarianism, legalization of marijuana is a route to attainment of recreation. This is because utilitarianism is about the general good for the majority and since the users form the majority of those seeking recreation, legalization has no effect on the non users. The theory is a solution to the problem of legalization of marijuana as it gives the weak-willed the chance to enjoy the predicament, while it excludes those who are not affected.
Basing on the fact that there is the use of the drug despite decriminalization, there should be a mode of harmonizing its use such that legalization would lead to controlled use. The theory of utilitarianism stipulates maximization of the good for the majority; legalization of the drug might reduce the risk behind the effects through controlled use.
The utilitarian philosophy is also a contributory factor to the unacceptable behavior since it allows legalization of marijuana if the reasons for legalization supersede those for decriminalization although it does not give the barrier on the age limit of the participants. The social ethics describes child use of marijuana as defilement to the values of social ethics. On the contrary, it only allows for legalization if it is beneficial to some majority groups. This implies that if the process of legalization goes hand in hand with the age limits, then it is a solution to the problems that might come as a result of legalization. For instance, if the process of legalization excludes the underage, it erodes away the vulnerability of reasons for decriminalization.
Moreover, the utilitarian philosophy advocates for legalization of marijuana if it is on grounds of medical prescriptions. This is a view of the maximum good of the patients who require marijuana as a form of treatment. This implies that legalization of the drug excludes those who do not have prescriptions from medical practitioners. Consequently, it is a resolution to the problems brought about by legalization of the drug as it gives the medical practitioners the mandate of prescription of medication. This would control both the use and social effects of the process since it targets a certain group of individuals. Moreover, this is an advantageous move as it seeks to reduce chances of abuse since drug abuse, which is also unethical vice, is the use of drugs without prescription from a qualified medical practitioner.
The philosophy of utilitarianism could also be a resolution to the problem caused by legalization of marijuana through formal reduced trafficking and suggestion for source of revenue. This concept is built on grounds that legalization of marijuana could save countries millions of revenue from the tax levied on the drug. Consequently, it would reduce the rate of crime from those found in possession of small amounts of the substance. This reduces the number of convicts behind bars in cases related to the drug. The philosophy protects the plight of the participants and the state.
As long as the fact that utilitarianism advocates for the maximization of options for the good of the majority, the view of legalization of marijuana closely relates to my view. This is from the fact that the concept of legalization of the drug would bring sanity in the sell and use of the drug. For instance, legalization would lead to formal legislation which would, in turn, lead to the controlled use. This would also result in reduced vices and crime associated with the use and sell of marijuana. It would also reduce the number of convicts due to drug-related crimes. Moreover, this would be a contributory factor to the views of the majority since the legislation would only affect the users. Those who do not portend associations with the drug would be excluded from the consequences of the drug. In addition, the concept of resolution to problems caused by legislation of marijuana is closer to my view that this act is the end to racial discrimination which is a violation of social ethics.
On the contrary, ethical egoism depicts legislation on marijuana use that clearly supports the concept of marijuana legalization. This is from the definition of ethical egoism as the perception based on self-interest. The theory assumes that in nature, man lives for his own sake. Consequently, every man has an obligation to do what pleases them. This boost to legalization of marijuana as legalization of the drug would mean consumption at free will. This would be a breach to the ethical norms as it is a move that guarantees self-control over the use and sell of marijuana (Gerber, 2004).
The perspective brought about by ethical egoism in legalization of marijuana contradicts the views from the theory of utilitarianism through its failure to uphold the ethics of the society. For instance, it disputes the presence of moral obligations for other people, where no one has a moral right to put restrictions on other peoples’ lives. The underlying issue implied by ethical egoism is that neither legalization nor prohibition is ethical. In fact, there should be no control as everyone has all the multiple options over the drug. Everyone has the freedom to choose whether to get associated with the drug or not. Moreover, the alternatives that a subject has at a particular time are the options that convince the subject’s perceptions. Speaking about the presentation of alternatives on whether legalization of marijuana is ethical or not, it depends on self-conviction without bearing in mind the social implications.
This concept is not a solution to problems presented by utilitarianism since it does not give the boundaries to which the legislation lies. For instance, giving the underage the right of self-choice to use with marijuana would mean a breach of social ethics. Moreover, people who belong to such an age do not have the skills of singling out the best options. This would influence their options for the use of the drug without control. This implies that this age group would fall victim of the consequences of the drug, including the moral implications like addiction. This would lead to degradation of the ethics in the society. In addition, this right of self-choice to the underage would lead to abuse of the drug, a setback to upholding of the theories of ethical behavior (Rosenthal & Kubby, 2003).
Conversely, the theory of ethical egoism could give lead to upholding of the moral jurisdictions if the subjects pick the best options. For instance, the alternative to uphold the medication behind the use of marijuana would mean a positive move that instills legal control over association with the drug. This would lead to upholding of the theories that advocate for social ethics in that the society would only opt for marijuana when there is a need. This would reduce the rate of trafficking and abuse which are contributors to moral degradation.
The ensuing factor is that the theory may structure the mind of the subject into actions that may, in one way, contribute to the positive move in upholding the moral mandate and, in another way, be the source of crucifixion of morality. For instance, the force to opt for the wrong choices may contribute to actions against the morals of the people who are the subjects. In the practical example of legalization of marijuana, one may opt to have a free will in associating with marijuana through sell and use, while ignoring the social implications which would lead to moral decay. In contradiction, the force to act and work against legalization of marijuana would mean dubious means of access to the drug through trafficking (Rosenthal & Kubby, 2003).
Conclusively, the process of legalization of marijuana is more of a setback to upholding social ethics than a contributory factor to moral decay. The definition of both ethical utilitarianism and ethical egoism has a contradictory view over the forces of options for either ethical good or ethical bad. In the concept of legalization of marijuana, it is mandatory that forces for better options are the guidelines of upholding moral ethics. For instance, basing on the grounds for the legalization, the process might be viable with positive outcomes. On the converse, decriminalization would not necessarily culminate in positive morals since it is the source of bad habits like trafficking and abuse as the truth is such that there are these two moral vices even without legalization. This puts my views in correlation with the options of maximization of the general good out of options as stipulated in the ethical utilitarianism theory. This also puts the debate on whether legalization of marijuana is ethical or not into leveled platform with the reasons behind legalization being the factors underpinning the process.